Document Type : Commentary
Department of Noncommunicable Diseases, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
Health systems built on the foundation of primary healthcare (PHC) are essential to achieve universal health coverage (UHC). To adequately respond to the needs of people with non- communicable diseases (NCDs) and enable optimal management in primary care settings, changes are needed at many levels. PHC levers recommended in the UHC framework as the cornerstone of achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) goals by strengthening the primary care system include strategic and operational levers. Experience from hypertension control programs across 18 countries has shown that rapid scale-up can be achieved through systematic improvement of the PHC system brought about by political commitment, financial support, and high-quality people-centred primary care. As countries are gripped with the pandemic the importance of an appropriate and resilient health system fit for the country is emerging as a priority for building preparedness. While there are general principles, each country must learn by doing and scale up models relevant to the national context.